Sunday, June 15, 2003

Weekly Word for June 15-21, 2003

For He gives to His beloved - even in his sleep. (Psalm 127:2c)

Beloved - The Lord calls us His beloved! Jesus was called The Beloved - the One God Loved. And yet throughout the New Testament, you will find that the word beloved is used to address believers. I started thinking about this word. What did it mean?

A few days ago I was talking to my brother. He told me about a project he was working on. He is restoring an antique truck. He had just finished putting in a critical part of the motor. During the night, he found himself awake - knowing that “something” was very wrong with the part he had just put in. He didn’t know how he knew this, he just knew that he was uneasy. The next morning he left early to check the work he had just finished. Pulling the motor apart, he found that there was a break in this piece he had just put in. If left broken, the motor would not have worked, and may have caused damage. My brother couldn’t understand how he knew something was so wrong. I laughed and told him I knew why - The Lord! The Lord knew what was wrong, and wanted the best for my brother! He wanted to keep my brother safe. It doesn’t always happen this way - but if we listen - He does tell us when things are not OK, even in our sleep!

Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. (Phil. 4:1)

Beloved - in my bible the word is defined as “chosen”, cherished, to be loved! How many times do we read in the newspaper of the passing of a “beloved” wife - the one who is loved the most by this one other person. So the Lord calls us His “chosen” - the one He loves that much!

Jesus told the story of the shepherd - of how when one sheep is lost, he will go find it. This is the story: “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost; until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” We are that one sheep! He loves us that much - each of us!

Over the years I have come to understand that so many of us have been wounded by those who were supposed to love us. Our response to those wounds are to build walls, to cover the areas that are sensitive and might get hurt again. And then comes this message: My beloved! Most of us don’t have a clue what to do with that! How do we take those walls down that were built from years of hurts? How do we open doors that we have padlocked tightly against all that might want to get in? He knows how!

I had a friend who helped to open the doors that I had shut, out of my own woundedness. This friend would ask me to go out for coffee, go on walks with her, to just spend time talking about all those things that were in my heart. One day while on one of our walks, I told her how I had stopped praying. I was hurt and angry because of the things that had happened during my life. She stopped walking and turned toward me and said: “That’s why you have friends, we do the praying when you can not!” And she did! God knew who to send to help me re-open those doors that I had bolted shut! Little by little, I started to “feel” again - to feel His love for me. I was able to accept His Love - to be loved! He knows your needs also, he knows how to open the door for you!

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd;” (John 10: 9, 10,11a)

A few years ago, I was talking to another minister. During the conversation, I asked this minister if all they were ever asked to do in ministry was to change “one life” - would that be OK? They looked at me as if I were speaking another language. Then I knew that this was the question that He was asking of me! Impressing upon me that each life was that important! One life! - one sheep!

You are that one sheep! The Lord is opening the door for you! Offering to you - His beloved - life abundantly!

God bless you in the coming week ahead.

In His Love,

Debbie and Ted Ayers


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